Achieve healthy weight loss in 2023

Posted on 1 January 2023

Forget crash diets and cutting out entire food groups; a Mediclinic dietitian can help you achieve your weight-loss goals and keep the extra kilos off once and for all.

There is no shortage of information on the topic of weight loss – but sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between good advice, dubious claims and outright lies. A dietitian can help you personalise your weight-loss journey to suit your needs and lifestyle, explains Lize Snyman, a dietitian at Mediclinic Kloof.

Health benefits of weight loss

Weight loss is not just about looking a certain way or fitting into your jeans; it’s also about addressing the ways that carrying extra weight affects your health – including your cardiovascular system, joints and digestive tract. It can cause heartburn, chronic reflux and bladder incontinence, and even interfere with hormone production in children. “It affects the entire body,” warns Snyman.

How to achieve weight loss that lasts

One of the best things about working with a dietician is that you won’t just lose weight – you’ll find it easier to keep it off.

Targeted weight loss: A lot of the rapid weight loss you may achieve with off-the-shelf diets is because you’re losing muscle mass, rather than fat. “We do proper fat-loss regimes and aim to help the patient lose tummy fat in particular,” says Snyman.

Personalised plan: Even more beneficial is the fact that the plan will be tailored specifically to meet your needs and lifestyle. “A dietitian can take into account a patient’s likes and dislikes, activity level and whether they can be physically active or not,” she explains. “We also take financial means into account, which will affect the products you add into the diet. And then, obviously, the medical background – someone who has gout, for example, shouldn’t have tomato seeds.”

Regular tweaks: Sustainable diets need to be adjusted every two to three weeks, based on your results. A dietitian will do that, whereas with an off-the-shelf diet, you must take what you get.

Accountability: It’s easy to lose motivation when it’s just you and your scale. “A dietitian is much more than just a diet machine,” says Snyman. “You’re a personal coach, a training coach and an emotional support who will help your patient through life events.”

The surgical solution

Where diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to achieve weight loss, the patient may be a candidate for bariatric surgery – and it’s not as major as you may think. “The field has developed quite substantially over the past five years and there are so many options for different needs,” says Snyman, who works closely with gastroenterologists.

These include non-surgical, endoscopic options that can be performed in the doctor’s rooms, such as a balloon procedure. “A general surgeon can do it, or a gastroenterologist. They put you under light sedation and insert the balloon down your throat. After a three-day recovery period, you’re back at work.”

Having the balloon in your stomach physically inhibits your ability to eat as much, giving you the opportunity to adjust your diet and lifestyle. It could be there for as little as six months or up to a year, depending on how long you need. Some balloons can be topped up if your results plateau. During this time, you’ll also work with a psychologist, dietitian, and biokineticist to help you adopt a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable long after the balloon has been removed.

Weight loss is enormously subjective. If you want lasting results, speak to a Mediclinic dietitian to find what will work best for you.

Published in Exercise

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.